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Truck Fire Closes Pittsfield's West Housatonic Street

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
Two engine companies and a ladder company responded to the scene.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — West Housatonic Street was closed for about 45 minutes Monday morning after a tractor-trailer burst into flames.
 
According to Deputy Chief Bruce Kilmer, the driver of the semi suddenly lost power while eastbound near Clapp Park. He pulled over and noticed a leak before the flames burst out of the engine compartment and engulfed the front of the truck.
 
"I assume he had a fuel line leak but it is so hard to tell because the engine compartment was burned up pretty heavily," Kilmer said.
 
The driver was Demitres Cade from Albany, N.Y., and the truck was owned by Estes Express Lines of Glenmont, N.Y. Cade was the only one in the vehicle at the time and was unhurt in the fire. 
 
Two engines and a ladder company responded to the scene. In just 10 minutes, the flames were out, Kilmer said. However the road remained closed with detours in place for about 45 minutes. 
 
The mix of diesel fuel and fiberglass insulation caused a dramatic-looking black smoke to rise from the flames. The smoke rose high into the air and could be seen billowing into the sky from South Street.
 
According to Lt. Tim Bartini, the truck was hauling "lumber and wooden ladders" so there was no risk of any hazardous materials entering the environment. The trailer was not damaged by the flames, only the cab, which appeared to be an International.
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